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Arthur's 30 week update!

It's been a while since I shared an Arthur update but there's just been so much going on! At 30 weeks, he's now rolling around everywhere and is almost crawling so I'm having to watch him like a hawk. It amazes me how much babies learn in such a short period of time. Not only is he moving about more now but he's also making lots of sounds. He says ma-ma-ma-ma, which makes me beam from ear to ear (even though I know it's not a 'proper' word) and he's also shouted 'no no' at me a couple of times, which is actually what I call our breastfeeds ha!

I started weaning Arthur just before he turned six months old and it's been going pretty well so far. I've got a weaning post coming up where I'll go into more detail but basically I've decided to offer Arthur a combination of purees and finger foods - it works for us! We've been using some great weaning products from Vital Baby, which I'll also be sharing with you soon.

Arthur's been teething on and off for the last couple of months and has now cut three teeth! The two bottom ones just appeared without a bother but his first top tooth has been a little more troublesome. Breastfeeding seems to provide plenty of comfort though, so I've not actually had to use any teething powders. He has been trying to nibble my fingers, which believe it or not is super painful so I've been encouraging him to use his Nuby teething ring and Sophie La Giraffe instead, both of which he loves.

We're still not sleeping through the night every night, with Arthur typically waking around 2:30am - 3am. Though we have just had two nights where he has slept through - eeep! I tend to just feed him in my bed, change his nappy and he's back in his crib sound asleep until around 6:30am. I haven't moved Arthur into his nursery yet but it's something I'm contemplating as I feel like I disturb him when I go to bed. Maybe I'll try it soon and see how we get on.

The Little Things...
Recently he's started doing little things that make my heart melt, like touching my face when we're lying next to each other and giving me kisses with his mouth wide open. Arthur also loves to put his finger on my bottom lip so I make a 'wibble' sound and thinks it's hilarious to blow raspberries. He's super ticklish and will laugh even before you've reached him and has a new found love for his toes. He's fascinated by them and it's adorable to watch.

The thing I've realised is that although they grow so quickly and don't stay little newborns for long, every new stage is wonderful and something to look forward to. I feel so lucky to get to experience all of this with my wonderful little boy.

Blogging - Schedule update, topics & more!

I feel like I've been a bit blah with blogging recently. I seem to go through periods where I'm blogging nearly every day and then dry spells, where I don't so much as send a tweet out promoting my posts. I haven't lost my love for blogging, not one bit but since becoming a mummy, I've found it very difficult to put time aside to sit down in front of my macbook and blog. That's by no means a bad thing - I love that Arthur has taken over my life, he's the centre of my world and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's now seven months since he was born and I feel like we're falling into some sort of routine, which will perhaps allow me to do a little more blogging here and there, so I thought I'd create a post sharing what I hope will be my new blogging schedule, so you know when to expect to hear from me!

Seek My Scribbles Post Schedule
Monday @ 6pm
Thursday @ 6pm
Saturday @ 6pm

I'm aiming to post three times a week for the time being. I think this is do-able and will allow me to spend time creating quality content, rather than just rushing to post something, which I dare say I've been guilty of in the past!

Blog topics covered
In terms of topics I think it's fair to say that I've moved away from some of the beauty topics I posted about before and have been focusing more on parenting content. Whilst I still love makeup and skincare, there's nothing quite like a baby to totally change your interests and priorities. I love being Arthur's mummy and since this blog is a reflection of the things I love, a shift from beauty to lifestyle and parenting content was a natural progression. I'm pleased that many of my readers have stuck around and that I've also gained a few new readers since I started focusing more on parenting and lifestyle topics. I'm not saying I won't ever write another beauty posts, as if there's a new lipstick I love or a cruelty-free brand I want to promote, I'm gonna blog it! But yeah, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm keen to continue with more baby, parenting and lifestyle (which in reality covers all topics) content.

Where to find me
As well as sticking to a blogging schedule, I'm also hoping to 'get back on it' with social media stuff, which has also been a little hit and miss as of late. The best place to connect with me is on Instagram - I share little life snaps on there most days and have been taking part in my friend Sophia's #TTLMAYMAMACHALLENGE which is so much fun!

Instagram: @megan_jane03
Twitter: @meganjane03
Facebook: Seek My Scribbles
Pinterest: meganjane03

So that's what you can expect from Seek My Scribbles and idea of the direction I'm hoping to head in, in terms of schedules and topics covered. I hope this has been a useful post for regular readers and any new visitors that find themselves here - it's certainly going to give me a kick up the bum...once I've pressed publish, there's no going back!


Best of British: 101 Ideas for Having Fun with the Kids This Summer

I'm back after nearly a fortnight off blogging! It wasn't a conscious decision to take a short break, more the fact I have been pretty busy with 'real life' things and a short trip to Devon left me with no WiFi - oh the horror! It was good to have a little time away though and I'm back feeling refreshed and ready to write. I'm planning on doing a bit of a 'catch up' post in the next couple of days, as well as an Arthur update as he's come on so much in the last month or so. I also really want to discuss our weaning journey so far and talk about some of our favourite products to use. I have a blog post list as long as my arm (and I have pretty long arms) to work my way though, so the short time away has definitely done me good!

But for now I just wanted to share a quick post about an exciting project I've been involved with called Best of British: 101 Ideas for Having Fun with the Kids This Summer. The Hatchbag Company has collaborated with more than 100 British bloggers to put together an eBook full of fun things you can do with your little ones this summer. It features some really unique ideas, including free activities, exciting adventures and interesting places to visit, with something for kids of all ages (and their parents) to enjoy! My contribution was a free countryside activity that is great for getting the kids off the XBOX and out in the fresh air. If you want to find out more and check out the other 100 ideas, head on over to The Hatchbag Company blog where you can download the guide for free!


H&M Baby Spring / Summer Haul

H&M is one of my favourite places to buy clothes for Arthur. They offer a great mix of cute and trendy (oh god I really do sound like a mum these days) baby clothing, with something to suit all tastes. Arthur has recently had a growth spurt and has actually jumped up a centile line, something which is apparently perfectly normal for his age. At 28 weeks, he weighs 20lb 7 and is fitting in 6-9 month and even some 9-12 month clothing, depending on the store! Of course, this along with the fact we're heading towards summer was the perfect excuse to treat him to a few new wardrobe additions (not that I ever really need an excuse to treat Arthur!)

First thing on my list was a sun hat, as I've been so worried about taking him out when it's sunny and have already stocked up on plenty of sun block. Finding a nice little boy's sun hat proved to be rather difficult but I finally decided on this cute under the sea cap, which has a bit at the back to protect his neck. My brother calls it a Gaiter hat and it makes me laugh every time he says it. It's one of those items that looks much better when it's on. Let's face it though...Arthur could make anything look cute!

Sticking with the sea theme, I couldn't resist buying him the printed seaside themed leggings above. It's not always that hot in England so even though he's got a few pairs of shorts in his wardrobe, I thought it was important that he had some leggings and trousers too. These ones came in a pack of two with the grey ones, which will also come in handy. They both look lovely with the Hey There Cutie top, which was a last minute, I NEED THIS IN MY BASKET purchase.

I picked up a few Henley t-shirts, as I always think it's good to have basic tees to go with printed bottoms - like the blue boat trousers pictured here! These have adjustable waistbands so they should fit him throughout the summer and I love that you can turn the bottoms up. The blue and white striped hooded jumper was a practical purchase (though a cute one at that) as I thought it'd be good to have a lightweight layer for weather-can't-make-it's-mind-up-days, of which we have plenty!

I know there's going to be more and more nights where it's just too warm for sleepsuits - especially in our new build house, which is always warm so I thought I'd pick up a couple more basic vests. I've always been a fan of nautical anchor prints - it must be the ex-Myspace-scene-kid-wannabe in me. The star print Henley is another favourite. He looks so handsome in navy!

So there we have my mini H&M baby Spring / Summer haul. I could have easily spent so much money on the website but with Arthur growing so quickly I try not to go OTT. Luckily I found a discount voucher online to knock a few pounds off the total. There always seems to be a few H&M codes floating around, so it's always worth doing a quick Google search before placing your order.

What's your favourite thing in my H&M Baby Haul?
Have you recently shared a spring / summer baby haul post? I'd love to see it!

Arthur Loves: VTech Discovery Tree

It's fair to say that my living room now looks like a children's play area but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Arthur is lucky to have so many amazing toys (his grandma and grandad really do spoil him) but one of my favourite of all has to be the VTech Discovery Tree, which I purchased a month or so ago with some vouchers I had. I was initially attracted to it by it's cute and colourful design but on closer inspection I found that it has a whole lot more to offer, in terms of entertaining little ones and helping them to learn.
The Discovery Tree has various different play zones, each which teach children something different. The colourful apple buttons teach colours and phonics, the spinning ladybird disk introduces children to animals and the caterpillar piano keys teach musical notes and numbers. There's also a sing-along book in the form of a butterfly and a play zone for shapes, which can be pushed into the tree.
Even though Arthur is only 6 months old, he already loves playing with the Discovery Tree. I know he's not going to be saying his alphabet any time soon but he has so much fun hitting all of the different buttons, spinning the dial and turning over the butterfly wing page. I love seeing the look of concentration on his face and hearing the little noises he makes in response to the sounds he hears. It's a toy that he'll get so much out of for years to come. The older he gets, the more he'll discover!
The Discovery Tree was easy to assemble and has a sturdy design. I also like the fact that it's not too big, so it doesn't take up too much of my living room and can be moved around with ease. I currently sit Arthur on my knee so he can reach all of the different sections but I know it won't be long before he can sit up at it himself, especially now he's sitting up unaided!
I definitely think it's one of the best toys I've bought Arthur and is excellent value for money. The VTech Discovery Tree is available to purchase from most large toy retailers for £42.99 but I've just seen Argos are currently offering 10% off, pricing the Discovery Tree at £38.69 - may as well save a few pennies where you can. These kiddies are expensive after all - but worth every penny!


Expressing, Milk Storage & Banishing Boob Pain

It’s been six months since I started breastfeeding and though it’s been tough at times, it’s something I’m so glad I persevered with. For Arthur and me the benefits far outweigh anything else. I’ve been weaning him for a couple of weeks now (something I’ll talk more about in another post) and it’s made me treasure our feeds even more, as I know there will come a day when he just won’t need them anymore.

Something I’m happy to admit is that if the option to express milk wasn’t there, I’m not sure I’d have coped with breastfeeding so well or even been able to do it for as long as I have. I seem prone to soreness. I don’t know if it’s Arthur’s latch or just my sensitivity but if I go a few days in a row breastfeeding without doing a couple of bottle feeds (with expressed milk) I end up feeling quite uncomfortable!

I started giving Arthur a bottle (or sometimes two) a day of expressed milk from around six weeks. It’s recommended that you wait that long so babies don’t get confused, as latching on to a breast is different from taking a bottle. Having said this, there are a number of bottles available that are specifically designed for breastfeeding babies. One of my favourites is the Lansinoh mOmma Bottle, which comes with a NaturalWave teat.*

The specially designed teat helps to promote babies’ natural latching, sucking and swallowing actions, so they can continue switching between breast and bottle without any problems. It also has an air ventilation system, designed to reduce air intake and the chances of colic. Arthur’s never had any confusion and although he definitely prefers milk from me, he’ll happily take a bottle without any fuss.

Expressing Breast Milk
Over the past six months I’ve trialled a number of different breast pumps, including both manual and electric and I’ve found that each type has its pros and cons. For example, whilst electric pumps are quick and require virtually no effort to use, they can be particularly noisy (at least the one I have is anyway) and some are rather on the pricey side.

Manual breast pumps tend to be a lot cheaper but you do have to put a bit of elbow grease into using them effectively. A good, ergonomic design is therefore essential and that’s exactly what the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump* offers. I have to say I was a little dubious going back to trying a manual pump after the ease of using an electric pump but thanks to the specially designed handle, pumping was an effortless and pain-free process. I hardly needed to squeeze to work the pump and I also loved that it didn’t make a sound. It meant I could express without Arthur getting upset that a plastic bottle was stealing his precious milk!

This particular pump comes with adjustable 2 phase technology, so you can adjust the pumping rhythm and simulate how your baby feeds from you, much like my electric pump does too. By mimicking a baby’s feeding rhythm through the initial ‘let down’ phase and expression phase, you’ll find that you can really help to maximise your milk flow.

Other things that can really help you to boost the amount of breast milk you pump include:

1. Looking at / thinking about your baby
2. Using heat (more on this below!)
3. Gently smoothing and squeezing your breast while you pump
4. Pumping while you feed baby on the other breast (can be a little tricky though!)

I managed to get 5oz in just over 5 minutes and couldn't quite believe it! I'm so impressed with the speed and ease of use of this manual pump. It's a great alternative if you don't want to splash out on an electric pump. I've personally found it works just as well as mine!

Storing Breast Milk
Once you’ve expressed your milk you can either use it straight away or store it for later. If you’re storing milk in your fridge or freezer, I definitely recommend using milk bags, as they take up way less space than bottles. Lansinoh’s milk storage bags* are a great size and have a label that you can fill in with your name (if you’re storing milk at work) and date, so you know how long to keep it for. Breast milk can be stored in the fridge for up to five days and the freezer for six months (see the NHS website for more info).

Make sure you use the double seal to secure the bags and place them away from anything potentially sharp in your fridge or freezer. I once got a hole in a milk storage bag from another brand - needless to say I didn't enjoy spending an hour cleaning out my fridge that morning!

Banishing Boob Pain
The final thing I wanted to touch on in this rather long breastfeeding post is relieving boob pain. Mastitis and plugged ducts are quite common when you’re breastfeeding but for me, the best remedy is heat. Taking a nice hot bath is preferable but from personal experience, I know when you’ve got a new baby, you’re lucky to get a wash, nevermind a bath! So instead I recommend using something you can heat up in the microwave and pop over your affected boob. Up until recently I was using my microwave Beddy Bear but now I’m using the Lansinoh Thera°Pearl® 3-in-1 Breast Therapy packs* and I only wish I knew about them sooner!

To use the packs, you simply slip them inside the covers and pop each one in the microwave to heat up. You can then either put them in your bra (just check the temperature first) or pop one round your breast pump (securing it with the popper). The heat will not only help to relieve pain but also stimulate milk flow, allowing you to get rid of any uncomfortable blockages.

The great thing about the Lansinoh Breast Therapy pack is that they can also be frozen and used as a cold compress to help with swelling and engorgement. I’m yet to try this myself as the thought of an ice pack on my body currently sends shivers down my spine but if you’re braver than me, the option is there! It goes without saying that if you are experiencing a lot of pain from breastfeeding or believe you may have Mastitis it’s worth contacting your GP / breastfeeding support worker for advice.

So there we have it! A rather long post about breastfeeding but hopefully it’ll be useful for any new mamas or mamas to be out there. A big thank you to Lansinoh for sending over these products for me to try out - I’m seriously impressed!

Have you got any tips you want to share or any concerns about breastfeeding? Let’s talk! Feel free to leave a comment below, tweet me @meganjane03 or even drop me an email
*PR Sample